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CocoLee's Paradise...   
12:15am 13/08/2020
 
mood: horny
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Welcome to BC   
10:28am 23/05/2017
 
mood: exhausted
It’s Friday afternoon and I’m all packed with just one suitcase, a carry-on bag and my purse. I didn’t want to bring too much with me since my intention is to slowly build up my inventory of personal items once I started living in BC. So I just packed the essentials (3 power suits – black, pin striped black and white and grey, 2 penciled skirts, 7 different styles of blouses, 3 casual work sweaters, 3 jeans for casual wear, 4 shorts, 5 tshirts, 3 pjs, along with socks and under garments), a few framed pictures of my family and beauty supplies. That was enough to pack my luggage tight.

Saying good bye to my family was bitter sweet. I’m really tight with my family and being so far away from them really made me feel home sick (and I haven’t even left yet!). My family threw a farewell party for me a week ago inviting all my close family and relatives. All of them gave me “lucky money” in red envelopes as farewell gifts. It totaled over $2000! Definitely enough to kick start my living in a new city.

So I’m at the airport right now waiting to board my flight. A one way ticket – fully paid by XYZ Investment Firm. I received a call from Sharon the night before confirming all the details of my relocation. All expenses paid, my flight is first class, then when I arrive in BC I would be picked up by Tom from XYZ Investment Firm to take me to my bachelor apartment, I would then be greeted by the receptionist who will give me the keys and give me a tour of the hotel to show me all the amenities that are included. Sharon also gave emailed me a list of doctors, dentists, banks, grocery shops and etc. close by so that I could check them out and register during my free time.

I couldn’t sleep on the flight at all. I was in awe of being in first class. They really do treat their passengers very well. Felt like a celebrity or royalty. For the beverage and snacks they offered red and white wine – of course I didn’t decline on that offer and had myself a nice glass of red wine coupled with a bag of chips. I sat back, relaxed and enjoyed the flight. We then landed, and I went to get my luggage. It didn’t take long for me to find my suitcase, I then went out and found Tom holding a sign with my name. He took me to the hotel (the same hotel that I stayed at when I had my interview). I went to the reception area and was greeted by a young lady named Jennifer. She gave me my keys and a booklet of all the amenities and contact numbers, along with external services offered around the city too. She then took me around on a mini tour of the hotel, showing me the workout room, swimming pool area, laundry room, restaurants, and etc. She mentioned some of the perks with staying at their hotel, such as free continental breakfast every morning, access to free internet, if I had any guests visiting I could book a room for 50% discount, I could use their shuttle bus free of charge to get around the city based on their scheduled time and route, however if I wanted to use room service or their cleaning service there was an additional fee (I can clean up after myself, so I wouldn’t be using that anyways). After the tour Jennifer left and I went to my room. My room is located on the 25th floor, it’s a New York size bachelor apartment with huge windows overlooking the city (beautiful views), it also has a small cozy balcony (small enough to fit one chair for morning tea), the room has a double bed, a loveseat sofa with a small coffee table, a small kitchenette with a single sink, fridge, stove and microwave (no dishwasher unfortunately), a small closet (not walk-in) and dresser drawer with a 19 inch tv on top, a small desk and chair and a private bathroom. It’s clean and neat, not huge but not too small either. Just enough space for one person. I took off my shoes, turned on the tv and jumped onto the bed and just laid there staring at the ceiling. “WOW, this is for real! I’m finally here, I’m starting a new life and this is where it’s all going to begin.” First step, unpack my suitcase. I started putting things away, finding homes for all of my personal belongings. When I finished, I took a shower, changed my clothes and looked around the apartment and realized that I needed to add my personal touch to the place. I got a piece of paper and pen that was supplied by the hotel on the desk and starting writing out a list of things that I needed. The items ranged from cleaning supplies to food. I looked at the clock and it was close to midnight. I got two full days of getting myself settled in my apartment before I start my first day of work on Monday. So with that, I turned off the lights and feeling so exhausted from the whole day of events went straight to sleep.
 
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McBC_2002   
10:03am 19/05/2017
 
mood: excited
Chapter 1 - MsBC_2002

How appropriate that Christina Aguilera released the song "Cruz" in 2002.

This is the year that I completed 4 years of undergrad majoring in Honors Business - Finance and Management Science. I didn't think I'd make it, but I DID... When I finished my last and final exam, I felt a huge sense of relief rush all over me. I passed and I'm finally done school! The question now is... NOW WHAT?

The answer - a few months ago I uploaded my resume on Monster.ca and searched for any financial related jobs in the greater Toronto area Ontario (ON), Montreal Quebec (QC), Calgary Alberta (AB), Vancouver British Columbia (BC) and virtually all the big cities in the U.S.A. I wasn't 100% completely done with University, but I knew my marks coming into my exams, and just as long as I passed, I knew I would get that degree/diploma - my ticket to get out of this hell hole that I call "home". Ok, I'm going to go off on a tangent for a minute, so bear with me ok?

Tangent - As a little girl, I grew up in a very small city/town... population approximately 90,000. Virtually everyone knew everyone and there was hardly anything to do that was fun or exciting. I knew the only way out was to get exceptionally good grades in school, offer my personal time volunteering and work part time to save up money. That was my only focus and determination up until I graduated high-school. Fortunately for me there wasn't a University in the scope of the city/town so if you wanted to do your post-secondary education you had to relocate. I applied and was accepted to attend a University that was about 2 hours drive away from home. It was far enough to start a new, exciting and challenging chapter in my life, but close enough that when I did miss my parents, I didn't have to travel that far to see them (or if I needed to stock up on supplies - paid by the parents). The city that I attended University was big enough to satisfy my big city living needs... but after 4 years of exhausting the points of interest in the city, and also the main reason I wanted to leave – I had broke up with my ex boyfriend and frequently running into him, or mutual friends, or his family or locations that we had memories... it was time to up the next level and move onto a bigger and better city. – Tangent End.

So back to my answer, I had applied to those cities as mentioned and hoped for any prospects to secure a position and place so that when I graduated, I didn't have to move back to my boring, snoring old city/town and move back in with my parents, and I definitely couldn't stay in the city where I attended University - for the main reason explained (the big X). After 3 weeks of idleness, I finally received a phone call for an interview in Toronto, and then slowly more phone calls, emails, and letters came pouring in from various places and different companies/organizations/institutions. I was able to attend the interviews in Toronto (a few hours of driving), but unfortunately for the other locations I had to interview via phone. I had 7 interviews altogether. The one I was most interested in and was the furthest along in the hiring process was for a private financial investment firm located in BC. The position was for "Junior Investment Analyst" at company (of course I'm not going to mention the real company name for confidentiality reasons... but let's call it "XYZ Investment Firm") XYZ Investment Firm. I would work under the Associate Director (researching companies, analysing company accounts, regularly meeting with company managers, making informed recommendations with the Associate Director, coordinating and administering the Associate Directors schedule and etc… ) The annual salary starts at the lower range of the position, but after 6 months probation it bumps to the average range of the position and then at the annual review there's potential for a raise based on my performance. I'm also eligible for bonuses based on our monthly sales targets. Work hours are 8am to 5pm with 1 hour lunch and two breaks. Because I'm relocating, they offered me 6 months of free living expenses. There's a hotel 1 block from the company that they have a discount rate with. It's a bachelor room with bed, sofa, coffee table, kitchenette w/ appliances all included and private bathroom. There's also a workout room and indoor swimming pool that I can use. With the position the company supplies a company cell phone, laptop and credit card (for company expenses only of course). There's also access to a company car! There's also potential for company lunches/dinners and business travel – expenses all paid. Who would turn down an opportunity like that?!?!?! The phone interview went well, where I was teleconferenced with 3 people, the Associate Director (the boss), a Human Resources (HR) rep and the Executive Director of the department. A week after the phone interview I was called in and asked to fly in for a face-to-face interview - all expenses paid! I was dying with excitement, nervousness and HOPE! Everything was scheduled, booked and confirmed.

The face-to-face interview – When I exited the baggage/luggage area of the airport I was greeted by a nice man all dressed in black waiting by a black car holding a sign with my name. My heart started to race knowing that I was about to step into something new and exciting. I greeted the man and he introduced himself as “Tom” from XYZ Investment Firm. He then took my suitcase and placed it in the trunk of the car and then opened the door to the backseat of the car and ushered me in. As he was driving, he was listening to the radio and I was looking out the window in awe of the big city buildings. This could potentially be MY CITY, the city that I LIVE IN!!!! I started acting out scenes in my mind of me wearing a power suit walking down these streets with a purpose and places to go. About 45 minutes of driving we finally arrived at the Investment Firm. I took my things and he led me to the Human Resources area where I sat in the waiting room. About 10 minutes I was greeted by a woman, about 45 years of age, she was tall, blonde hair pulled back in a perfect bun, wearing a white silk blouse and black penciled skirt that flattered her slim body very well. Her stiletto shoes were very fancy, probably Jimmy Choo shoes… maybe that’s what made her seem so tall. “Hello, my name is Sharon”. She was the Associate Director – my potential boss! She then led me to a conference room where I was greeted by two other individuals, Kelly, who was the HR rep and Ben, the Executive Director of the department. I sat down, the door closed and the interview began… I will spare the boring details, plus the questions asked were in confidence and truly, I have forgotten them all by now… it was just an hour and a half of trying to make myself look good and impress those three people that could potentially change my life FOREVER! There were lots of smiles, nod of the head, them writing things down and me trying not to stumble on my words. After the interview they showed me around the building… the investment firm is divided into 4 levels. The first floor is where the administrative people are (payroll, hr, finance, accounting and marketing), the second floor is where the junior investment analyst and associate director for the Asia and Europe division is located. The third floor is where the junior investment analyst and associate director for the North America (Canada and US) is located. That would be my floor – Sharon is in charge of the Canada division which covers all the major cities from BC to QC. The fourth floor is where all the executives are located (Executive Directors, VPs and President). I saw where my desk was located and the lunch area, sitting area, filing room, supplies room, Xerox room and etc… The US division is separated by a wall, but even with that wall, the whole floor seems to be an open concept type of style where you can see out of the windows from any angle you stand. After the tour Sharon took me to the hotel so that I could check in and get settled. She told me that at 6pm she would pick me up at the hotel and take me out for dinner. Did they treat all their potential employees this way??? Wow – I was so impressed! So I got to my hotel room (I’m guessing this would be the hotel that I would be staying at, however, this room was your standard hotel room with a king size bed and private bathroom.) I unpacked my suitcase, took a shower and changed my clothes and freshened up. At 6pm I went down to the front desk and Sharon was already there. “Gosh, I hope she wasn’t waiting long!” I thought to myself… luckily she just got there as well… PHEW… so we went to a nearby restaurant that was in walking distance… It was a very classy restaurant, with dim lights, people well dressed and a pianist playing classical music softly in the background. I was expecting to just order a main entrée dish, but Sharon insisted on starting with an appetizer, so we shared calamari with roasted tomato sauce and bruschetta with goat cheese. For our main entrée dish I ordered filet mignon with a side of mashed potatoes and veggies. Sharon ordered a gourmet salad named “Miso Melange”. We passed on dessert since we were both full and opted for coffee (for Sharon) and tea (for me). During dinner we talked about my education experience and my past jobs. Sharon didn’t want to get into my personal background or family life due to conflict of interest with the hiring process, so we switched gears and she talked about living in BC, the company, the people in the company, the job position and the expectations. It was a pleasant and cordial dinner. I wasn’t bored, but it wasn’t personal. After we finished our dinner, Sharon walked me back to the hotel and we exchanged our farewells, and I ended with “I hope to hear from you soon.” She smiled and left. After a long day I slept so well… plus the pillows and blankets were so soft and comforting that it made it so easy to drift off to sleep. At 9am I checked out and the hotel shuttle bus took me to the airport and that was my interview. I never experienced anything like that before. But I left feeling good... actually GREAT!
A few weeks ago I completed my last exam. From the time I had my interview to the date of my last exam, I hadn’t heard back from XYZ Investment Firm, so I thought I didn’t get the job. I felt disappointed and uneasy about myself, but I had exams to get through and knowing that this would be my last set of exams, I forced myself to put all of that aside and focused on my studying and completing my final semester and aimed at acing each exam to get my self confidence back. A day after I completed my last exam I got a call from XYZ Investment firm. It was the HR rep, Kelly, which called to confirm my final marks and if I had indeed graduated. I told her that I completed my last exam just the other day and didn’t receive my final marks yet, but that I was confident that I had passed all my exams and completed all the required courses to get my degree. Kelly then congratulated me that I got offered the job, but on the condition that I had graduated. Therefore, the final condition on the job offer was that I had to wait for my final transcript and print it out and send it to them so that they could complete the hiring process. I had mentioned the date of my last exam at the interview and also during dinner with Sharon (which I totally forgot). That’s why they were waiting to extend the job offer to me. I was in shock and screamed for joy that I got a job, a REAL job, a full-time permanent job with full benefits type of job! OMG…

So that brings me to the present time. I went to the Registrar’s Office early in the morning and they printed out my transcript which shows that I passed all of my exams (the icing on top of the cake was that I aced all of my exams) and that I completed all the required courses for my degree which means I GRADUATED!!!! Commencement is scheduled in October so I won’t get my diploma until then, but the transcript shows COMPLETED, and that’s all XYZ Investment Firm needs for me to get the job.

Now it’s packing time!!!! Farewell party for finishing school, saying goodbye to my friends and family, starting a new “ADULT” job and starting a whole new chapter in my life in a new city with new experiences. Who knew my life would take a huge turn at 22 years of age??? I’m ready… bring it ON!

I'm leaving today / Living it / Leaving it / To change
 
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Update =)    
11:16am 19/09/2016
 
mood: quixotic
This past weekend was busy but fun. Saturday started with hubby going to work for half the day. I woke up at around 745am and the kids soon woke up afterwards. I got them up, changed, brushed their teeth and got them downstairs to eat breakfast and watch some tv while I quickly got ready. At 9am we all piled into the SUV so that JJ and Brody could start their first day of Vietnamese Language School. It was raining and gloomy... UGH... got them to class and that meant Chelsea and I had 2.5 hours to kill before picking up the boys to go home. So Chelsea and I hung out in the car for a bit then we went to FreshCo to get some fruit and for the remainder of the time I took a quick nap while Chelsea watched some of her favourite youtube videos. I picked up the boys at noon and during our drive back home JJ was telling me all about his and Brody's first day of Vietnamese Language school (they liked it). Got home, and luckily Hubby was home so he could take care of the kids. I quickly decorated the house up (putting up the banners, getting the tables all prepped and a little cleaning up). Afterwards, I took advantage of some spare time to do my makeup and hair - I mean, if I was going to be the hostess to all the guests that night, I have to look at least decent and presentable! lol... at 2pm I left - first stop to get the banh bot loc that I ordered. After that I picked up the birthday cake (chocolate cake yummy!). Next stop was pizza at little ceasar's. I had some spare time until my next stop so I unloaded all the food I picked up at home. 3pm I went to Garden Buffet to pick up the sushi platter. After that was Red Sail for the fried rice and spicey seafood (my favourite!). I got home at 3:45pm and unloaded all the food. I started cooking my casserole and at 4:15pm I picked up the vietnamese fried spring rolls. Hubby got the kids bathed and dressed by 5pm. Guests started arriving at round 6pm. Then the festivities started. Everyone either brought gifts, beer, liquor, food and etc... so we had plenty to eat and drink. We started the karaoke party at around 9pm... by then the drinks were flowing and people were getting pretty tanked. We sang and danced and of course took pictures and videos. It was tons of fun. The party ended at round 1:30am. Guests left and hubby and I quickly put all the food away and left the mess to sleep.

Sunday I woke up around 830am. I quickly dressed to pick up Brody and Chelsea who had left the party with my parents. Got home and let hubby take care of the kids while I took a shower and did my makeup and hair and got dressed up. We went to church at 11am. When we got home, I was in total clean up mode. I cleaned the living room/dining room, kitchen, vacuum the whole house. JJ had put away all his toys and hubby cleaned the deck and took out the trash. I did the laundry and grocery shopped. It was a busy day but by the evening the whole house was clean. (only thing we didn't do was mop the floors - but that's for another day. hahaha).

Altogether, it was a fun birthday party for hubby. The guests all had fun, there was plenty of food and plenty of leftovers... enough to feed us for the next few days. hehehe... NO COOKING! and we got some lovely gifts from our friends as well. I told hubby no more house parties for a while though... these past 2 months has been nonstop house dinners/parties...
June: Dinner party with Tuyet/Kiet family; Midland; Father's Day (Banh Xeo party) - parents plus friends Toan/Thu, Hieu/PAnh, Kiet/Tuyet, Lap/Linh; Seattle Trip (Tiffany/Kevin wedding)
July: Vietmix Party @ Chien/Ninh; Dinner at Ko/Hau; Picnic @ Belle River w/ Hieu/PAnh, Kiet/Tuyet, Thi; Montreal/Ottawa trip
August: Vietmix Concert @ Michigan; Charlie's Bday @ Dung/Huong; Julie's Bridal Shower; Dinner party w/ Manh/Thuc and Kiet/Tuyet; Dinner @ Toan/Thu; Dinner @ Kiet/Tuyet; Dinner w/ Toan/Thu, Hieu/PAnh, Kiet/Tuyet
September: Julie/Rob's wedding; Duong Hien/Di Diep visit; Peter's 40th birthday
NONSTOP - need to rest now! LOL
 
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Update on August 2016 - LJ how I missed thee =)   
12:16pm 03/08/2016
 
mood: accomplished
It's been almost half a year since I updated on this thing. Yes, life truly takes over and the "single" days of updating virtually everyday is pretty non existent now.

Marriage Life: Hubby and I celebrated our 9 years of being married. Can't believe how fast time flies. I was planning to change my last night for our 10th wedding anniversary, but since my driver's license had to be renewed this year, I thought I might as well change my last name during the process. The question was to hyphenate my name or change it to "Hoang". With all that's been going on with my life this year - I decided to hyphenate it legally "Luu-Hoang" instead, so that I still have the last name "Luu" and not confuse people.

Family Life: My three kids are growing like weeds. JJ is 7 years old now (although he acts like he is 14). He's been busy with karate, soccer, piano and swimming. He's doing well in school and is an altogether good kid. He is respectful, funny and outgoing. He talks A LOT - I mean A LOT... and he's always wanting to try new things. He's wearing size 10 kids clothes, so he's a bit tall for his age. Brody is 4 years old. He's been a latchkey daycare for over a year now and we are seeing great progress in his development skills. He's starting JK this fall, and although we worry about him, the social workers and speech pathologists that are working with him right now are being very optimistic with him. He's so loving, cute and adventurous. Chelsea is 2 years old and she is the DIVA in the family. She's talking A LOT. She's been playing with dolls a lot lately and it's really cute. She's progressing well, and we're happy.

Work Life: This July I got promoted to "Employment Equity and Human Rights Manager" at the University. I am no longer in Human Resources but now working in the Office of Human Rights, Equity and Accessibility. This is my 4th week into the job and I'm enjoying it very much. Of course with any new job, there's lots of reading, reviewing and learning, so it's kind of dry at the moment, but I'm sure things will change in the next few months once I get really into my job description. I already have a company trip to Toronto in October for 3 days and another company trip to Montreal in November for 2 days. With the perks of being a manager, I get a company cellphone, company credit card and a company laptop. I'm still trying to get used to being a "Manager" and I have my own personal secretary/receptionist as well. My office is a lot bigger, but it's on a lower level of the building, so I lost my awesome view. But that's ok. The pay is great and the freedom to make my own choices is very nice.

Toys and Things: We just purchased a new car. With the 3 kids, it's not family friendly to have the Toyota Celica anymore. Especially with my new job, I may need to work nights, so I need hubby to pick up the kids from my parents house, and driving the Celica with the 3 kids would be too dangerous. So we gave my car to my dad and we bought a used BMW X5. We were contemplating on purchasing a Toyota Sienna, but with my promotion, we decided to go "stylish" and opted for either a Mercedes Benz or BMW. After weighing our options and seeing what was available at the lots, we got a 2013 BMW X5. It seats 7 and it's roomy. So happy with our purchase.

Trips: In December 2015/January 2016 we went to Vietnam to attend my sister-in-law (Minh Duc) wedding. We went for 3 weeks and it was a great family vacation. WAY better than our trip back in 2009/2010. Then in June we went to Seattle Washington to attend my cousin (Tiffany) wedding. We went for a week and it was a fun trip with a family reunion as well. We just got back from a family trip to Montreal/Ottawa and that was fun and memorable. This September my cousin (Julie) is getting married, but it's home here in Windsor/Tecumseh, but we'll have family flying in, so it'll be another mini family reunion, which I'm looking forward too.

Band: I've been invited to sing with the band Vietmix on a few occasions. We had a concert in December (right before I left for Vietnam) and another one in May. We have another concert this Saturday in August performing at a vietnamese church in Michigan. I have to admit that I'm really enjoying performing on stage. I've been youtubing how to apply my makeup better and how to perform better on stage as well. I've been obsessed with fake lashes. I got 70 boxes in my cupboard right now! hahaha. Each box has 10 pair of lashes. I've been trying my best to diet and lose the baby fat. I'm currently at 117lbs and been stuck at this number for over a year. I'm going to try coolscuplting (a non invasive tummy tuck) and see if that works.

So that's all to date. I'm looking forward to seeing what the future brings. So far it's going good and we're happy, healthy and reaching our goals in life.
 
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Update time - end of year 2015   
03:35pm 17/12/2015
 
mood: accomplished
I haven't posted on LJ in such a long time. I can see why many people have pretty much given up on this thing. But, as this year is slowly coming to a close, I thought I'd write up a little update on all the memorable events that has happened throughout 2015.

* Brody starting day care at OLMC Latchkey Learning Centre - best thing we've done for Brody. Since starting at the daycare his vocabulary has progressed, he's making friends, he's playing, interacting and such a happier and loving kid. The staff there is so loving, patient and caring towards Brody. Everything they do for him is for his best interest. We are truly blessed to have had Brody enrolled at the day care.

* Trip to North Carolina in August 2015. It was a nice trip away from home, just to relax and be with family. All the kids were on their best behaviour. JJ misses the beach house.

* VietMix Band - one of my girlfriend is a singer for the VietMix Band. My birthday was coming up and coincidentally, the VietMix Band had scheduled a concert the same day. So I was going to celebrate my birthday at that venue. My girlfriend talked me into singing at the concert since she thought I had a nice voice, so I sent ONE song to the band for me to sing... which ended up being 3 songs after our first practice. On the day of my birthday/concert, I had the most fun going up there on stage and performing. Now I'm performing again at their next show (this coming Dec 19th) and performing SEVEN songs. I can't wait to see how this show turns out because if we are successful, there will be a few more concerts scheduled for 2016 which the band wants me to perform at as well.

* Vietnam Trip Dec 2015-Jan 2016. We haven't been back to Vietnam since Winter 2009. This time around, the kids are a bit older and we have made plans for each day while we are there. We're also staying at a hotel this time around so I'm HOPING that we are safe, healthy and enjoying ourselves. I'm praying for a good vacation away - I'm sure it won't be stress free since I'm taking care of three little ones all under the age of 6, but we'll be together with family for the holidays and that's what matters the most.
 
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Long Time No Update... Oh Dear LJ =)   
12:09pm 06/08/2015
  I have some time and I thought I'd update a little bit on here.

Home Life: One word 'BUSY' - the three little ones take up 90% of my time, while the other 10% is keeping the house as organized as can be, balancing the cheque book, hanging with the husband and if I can squeeze a little bit of "me time". JJ and Brody has been going to daycare at JJ's school for the past few months. It was quite the adjustment for Brody - but after three days of crying and uncertainty, he has pretty much settled in with his classmates and teachers. They have all been so pateint and loving towards him... since starting daycare we see such a change in Brody - for the better. He can now say "daddy", "JJ", "Chelsea", "no", "baby", "go", and a bit more. He's not 100% potty trained, but I'd say a good 70%. He's interacting with his classmates and teachers and following instructions and participating with the class schedule. He's even trying some new foods. It's a slow but progressive process, but we're getting there which is awesome. I'm going to continue putting him in daycare until he transitions to JK. The cool part is since the daycare is located right at JJ's school, the environment will still be the same when Brody starts elementary school and virtually all his classmates will be in the same class as him when he starts JK. So that transition will be much easier to cope. JJ has been busy with soccer every wednesdays and the odd saturdays. Every sunday he has piano lessons. He's doing great with soccer and piano. He started piano in November, and he's already going onto level 4. His piano teacher is very proud of his accomplishments and he's catching on very fast. By the time he reaches 8 years old (which is usually the beginners age to start piano) he will have surpassed most of his peers. I'm so proud! Chelsea is beginning to walk - she's taking 10-20 steps now. She's babbling, eats EVERYTHING and always smiling. She's very easy compared to her two brothers, which is total opposite when she was a baby - she was the hardest baby - getting her days and nights mixed up, not feeding on her milk and throwing it up and being so grumpy - but now she's the easiest.

Work Life: Work has been busy. Trying to catch up on things, trying to get things done at the deadline. It definitely makes the day go by faster. Each day is a new day with different tasks, so it doesn't make the job so boring. My coworker introduced me to this water mix called "Flat Tummy Water" - it consists of Cucumber, lemon, ginger and mint leaves. That's it - you put all the ingredients in a water and let it sit overnight - drink the water all day long - I've been doing this for almost 2 months now and I've lost quite considerable of weight. Lots of people have been noticing. So now some of colleagues have jumped into this "fad" and we been drinking this together. I'm not sure if it's the water that's doing this - but that's the only thing that I've changed in my daily lifestyle so far - but I'm losing weight, have more energy, my skin feels healthier and my bowel is regular.

Things to look forward to:
Family vacation to North Carolina for a week
My birthday party
 
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Long Time No Update... Oh Dear LJ =)   
12:55pm 23/06/2015
 
mood: enthralled
WOW - has it really been that long since I've updated? I go on facebook regularly since everyone I know is on there.

So we are nearing June... yesterday was my 8 years wedding anniversary. My, my how time flies by... We didn't get a chance to celebrate since all three kids were ill for the past week. Not only them, but I got ill for a few days and hubby almost came down with something... both my parents are sick - so easy to spread germs these days.

JJ is doing good - he's almost done school for the summer. He will be entering grade 1 in the fall... still can't believe how fast my baby boy is growing up. He's busy with soccer and piano this summer. That's enough to keep me busy for now. He lost two teeth the other day. He told me that he doesn't believe in the tooth fairy... so when I told him to put his teeth under his pillow, the tooth fairy would leave him some money... when he was fast asleep, I slipped 10 dollars under his pillow and took his baby teeth away... he woke up and was happy to have found money, but then he turned to me and said "I still don't believe in the tooth fairy, I think you came into my room and put the money under my pillow and took me teeth"... lol - he's way too smart for me.

Brody is doing alright. He's still not talking yet. His vocabulary to date only includes JJ and Daddy. We have him seeing a speeth pathologist right now. I also have JJ and Brody enrolled in daycare this summer... so that Brody won't be so freaked out about attending daycare since his brother will be there, and also give my mom some time to just take care of Chelsea. Brody is a hard one to take care of... we're still trying to potty train him... if we time him correctly, he'll go in the toilet, but if we don't take him to toilet, then he'll just go in his diaper. *sigh*. I worry about that boy sometimes. We try to be patient, but sometimes it just to the point where we're all just too concerned with his progress.

Chelsea is amazing. Girls are definitely more fun... She's crawling everywhere and going up the stairs. She can stand if she's holding onto something and she just loves to climb. Feeding her is so easy - she eats everything and enjoys to eat and drink. No fuss with her whatsoever. She's also pointing at things and saying "da da" and "Da?" it's so freaking cute!

Summer is going to be a busy time with lots of parties and vacation planned. We opened the pool and hubby already too the first dip this past weekend. The kids were still a bit ill, so I didn't let them go in... they were so jealous of their daddy and wanted to jump in... felt bad - so hopefully if they are feeling better this week I'll let them go in.
 
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Day 85: KIDS   
01:04pm 26/03/2015
 
mood: accomplished
Day 85: The kids have been ill for the past month. Chelsea got this terrible rash on her face. Her cheeks and chin are bright red. We went to the doctors a few times and he prescribed some cream - but it doesn't seem to work. My mom bought some aveeno moisturizing cream, but nothing. We tried vaseline, aquahor, and baby oil... but nothing seems to work. Poor baby always rubs her face on her pillow, the couch cushion, or on me. My mom took her to the walk in clinic and the doctor prescribed her with a cream that has half moisturizer and half steroid. She has a virus that's causing the rash on her face giving her the bright red complexion. We used it and in two days her face has pretty much come back to normal and the irritation has decreased. She's sleeping better and not as agrivated. Thank goodness. Then there's Brody. He has been having a bad cough and constant runny nose. He ran a high fever a few days as well... He's slowly getting better. The doctor didn't prescribe him any antobiotics and told us that it'll pass in due time. As for JJ he has been experiencing very bad growing pains in his legs and feet. His growth spurt got so bad that he was crying all night one night. Poor kid... But it's also slowly passing. I finally got a good night's sleep last night. 6-7 hours. Which is better than the 3-4 hours of sleep I've been having... UGH... Can't wait for the day when the kids are a bit older and I can sleep through the whole night without any interruptions.

I still can't believe I have 3 kids. OH... and when all 3 kids were ill, guess who's room they came running too? YUP... a few nights I had all three kids in bed with me. (Since Chelsea has been born, hubby has been sleeping in the Master bedroom and I've been sleeping in JJ's room because it's closer to Chelsea's room so I can run to her when she wakes up for feedings at night - JJ sleeps with Brody in Brody's room). Have to admit it's kind of nice to have a whole bed to myself and without a snoring partner to keep me awake at night! HAHAHA... better not get too used to this though...
 
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LJ what?!?!?!   
04:35pm 09/03/2015
 
mood: amused
Well, so much for updating LJ on a consistent basis... lol.
The weather is finally warming up. I hope this is the end of the bitter winter cold weather. I'm so over and done with this cold weather. After living in Canada for 35 years you'd think I'd be used to this horrible cold weather, but, NOPE. I complain each year and I hibernate. My friends must hate me during this season since I never go out and hardly socialize with anyone. Wait until the warmer weather comes and I'll be motivated to go out more...

Home: My time is taken up by my kids. With JJ it's ensuring his homework is done, his reading is done, piano lessons... Brody is potty training, feeding him and making sure he doesn't get into trouble (his latest mischief is going into anyone's closet and dressing up, which ends up with clothes EVERYWHERE and layers upon layers of clothes on his head... he's also into drawing and colouring, which ends up with "art" all over the table)... Chelsea is beginning to crawl and sit up on her own... that means time for baby gates to be put up again. Luckily she's not as mobile compared to her brothers... she just crawls to a toy and plays with it and sits and smiles... not as much trouble as her brothers. It's sometimes hard trying to divide my time between the 3 kids since they are all in different stages of their age and need different types of attention. Hubby has been busy working 12 hour shifts - 2 weeks mornings and 2 weeks nights. His newest hobby is photography - he purchased over $5000.00 on camera and lenses. Expensive hobby, but that's ok 'cuz I'm planning to "upgrade" my engagement ring in 2 years and that will also be over $5000.00. So I'm not complaining... hehehe...

This summer we are going to North Carolina for a family trip. There will be 9 adults and 3 kids in total. We are all driving in a RV and renting a beach house. This will be our first family trip together. I'm pretty excited. If this works out, we'll probably make it an annual thing. So there's my motivation to lose a bit of weight. I'm slowly purchasing a new wardrobe for that trip and for the kids too.
 
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Day 44: Valentine's Day and Family Day long weekend   
12:45pm 13/02/2015
 
mood: anxious
At work we have benefit coverage for the employees. It's a pretty sweet bundle - dental (teeth cleaning and fillings are 100% covered), eyeglasses and contacts ($400 max is covered for any prescription glasses - which includes sunglasses - as long as I either put prescription lenses in them OR order a set of contact lenses along with the sunglasses), massage therapy ($800 max for the year), drug (only have to pay $3.00 for any prescribed drug) and etc... anyways, for the prescription glasses coverage it's every 2 years that I get the $400 coverage and my husband company covers $300 so together I have $700.00 to spend on eyeglasses. This is my year where I can use that benefit... so I went to Eyeswares Optical to see what sunglasses they had in stock... I picked out 2 nice coach sunglasses - so with the purchase of 6 month supply of contacts, 2 coach sunglasses, special order of dark lenses for both sunglasses (I hate it when people can see my eyes - so I want to get darker lenses) the cost is right at $700.00. And yes, I do take advantage of the $800.00 of massage, plus with my husband's company they cover $500.00 so together I have a max of $1300.00 of massage therapy I can use in 1 year... so I have an amazing masseuse that I go to monthly and I get a fabulous 1 hr full body massage... FREE OF CHARGE... OMG...


This year we are planning a family trip to Washington DC / New York in August. Then in December we're planning another family trip to Punta Canta Mexico. Hubby just got his citizenship last year, so that means he's allowed to travel outside of Canada now that he has his passport. So ongoing we are planning to either make one big vacation to Vietnam or two small vacation within the US or all-inclusive resort. Next year we are planning a vacation trip to Seattle Washington and probably somewhere with a beach. LOL - then in 2017 we're going to Vietnam for 3 weeks. It's "planned" that my brother and his girlfriend will get married that year and do a big party in Vietnam for all the relatives to attend. (plus it's their honeymoon vacation). Reason why I say "planned" is because my brother hasn't even proposed to his girlfriend yet... and he seems kind of "wishy washy" with this relationship that I'm not going to confirm anything until there's a ring on her finger. But hubby and I already talked and wedding party or not, we are still going to Vietnam in 2017. By then Chelsea will be 3, Brody will be 5 and JJ will be 8. All decent enough ages to travel that far a distance. The bonus is that in 2017 hubby and I will be celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary. So we're planning to host a small party with close family and friends and also to renew our vows. (We got married in Vietnam). I also want to "upgrade" my wedding ring. Hubby bought my wedding ring for approx $3000.00 so I'm going to "upgrade" my ring to approx $6000.00 and when we renew our vows I'm going to ask the priest to bless our "new" rings (yeah hubby wants a new ring if I get one too! LOL). It's almost like we're getting married all over again! hehehe... so yeah, 2017 will be an expensive year. THAT'S FOR SURE. But hey, go big or go home right?


Oh wow, so I got off topic - Valentine's Day is tomorrow... in previous years hubby and I would pick a nice restaurant, drop the kids off at my parents and have a nice dinner for two. We always end up talking about the kids and wishing they were with us to enjoy the good meal. So this year, we got a few friends that sponsored their families to Canada and this would be their first valentine's day in Canada. So we decided to do a family thing and invite them all out for dinner and then go bowling afterwards. So there's 5 families in total with about 20 people. I haven't been bowling in SO LONG so I'm pretty excited. So in the morning I'm getting my nails done, then run a few errands... then afternoon get some house chores done and at night drop Chelsea off at my parents and then take the two boys out for food and fun. Sunday no plans, just take JJ to piano lessons, grocery shop and stay home. Probably cook up a nice meal. Then Monday I'm off work for Family Day holiday. NICE... so hang with the kids and enjoy time at home.
 
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Day 34: LJ lives on facebook   
09:57pm 03/02/2015
 

Lots of people dropped off of Facebook in the past few years. Life has taken over and everyone is in a different chapter in their lives. I always wondered about some of the people I followed. Well what a nice surprise when someone created a LJ page on Facebook and familiar names and faces came back from the past.  I remember reading posts of schooling in college, dating, romance and heartbreak. Growing up and learning from mistakes. Gosh, we thought we knew it all in our 20 's. *shake my head* we were so wrong. Lol. But look at us now. Married, with kids,  a stable career, living in our dream house, driving our dream cars. This is what life is all about. Looking back it was fun being 20 but honestly I'm in my happiest place right now. If I could stop time at this very second and look around at what I've got, what I've accomplished, what I've build my life up to now. I'm honestly in the most happiest place. My parents, brother,  husband, kids, job, house,  friends. No complaints right now. I know nothing is forever and there will be bumps in the road.  But at this moment, I can't complain.

 
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Day 32: blood is boiling   
09:23pm 02/02/2015
 

I like to think that I'm pretty easy going and get along with people reasonably well.  I don't like and try my best not to judge people as I don't like to be judged. But there's a fine line and once it's crossed I can't help but put my foot down. As they say... karmas a bitch,   what goes around comes around and cheaters never win. 

We had new years party at my house this year so we invited friends over for the count down.  Well hubby invited some coworkers over.  In the group was this girl I never met before.  So I was polite and said hi to her and smiled when she looked at me.  But I didn't have a conversation with her nor did I invite her to take pictures with me and my girlfriends.  I just didn't have a good feeling towards her.  She even offered to hold Chelsea for part of the night and I felt uncomfortable. Well a few days later I found out from my friend that she was dating one of my husband's coworker.  The coworker is here on a work permit from Vietnam.  And back in Vietnam he had a wife and kids.  And yes this girl knows he's married with kids but still dating him.  OMG.  I was furious.  If I knew this I wouldn't even let her or him step foot in my house. I have zero tolerance for that kind of thing.  My blood just boils when I think of the whole situation.  There are about 30 guys at my husband work here on a work permit.  More than half are married with kids and only 4 of them sponsored their family here,  the others don't want to because they want their "freedom". Yeah,  freedom to cheat and be bastards.  OMG.  Blood boiling. 

 
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Day 29: tgit   
11:11pm 29/01/2015
 

How to get away with murder is back and oh so good.  Put Chelsea to bed at 830 pm so that I could watch my show without interruptions and it worked.  She was fussy until 950pm and fell into a deep sleep after that.  Worked out perfect since I don't have a show to watch during that time.  So big bang theory and how to get away with murder has satisfied my TV bug.  Tomorrow gonna have lunch at Mazzar!  Been a while since I've had schwarma.  So excited.  Lol.

Love my TV and food.  No wonder it's hard for me to lose weight.  Haha

 
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Day 26: new me?    
10:01pm 26/01/2015
 

I'm a simple girl.  Growing up I was your typical Tom boy.  Didn't like to dress up.  Hardly wore makeup.  Didn't know anything about waxing,  grooming or beauty tips.  I didn't have anyone to impress.  Didn't care what people thought of me.  But as I get older and a bit more wiser. I'm beginning to notice more of myself and taking better care of the way I look.  So I dyed my hair a red copper and I learned to apply my makeup on properly. I got a new wardrobe.  And the results are astonishing.  I've been getting compliments from everyone.  Family,  friends and coworkers all complimenting on my "new" look.  I guess turning 36 isn't all that bad if I'm aging gracefully.  Guess I'm like fine wine.  I just get better with age.  Haha.

 
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Day 23: mixed tapes   
09:49pm 23/01/2015
 

Yesterday night I watched a comedy show called "the Goldbergs" and the story line was about mixed tapes.  OMG.  Mixed tapes.  I haven't seen or heard of this in so long.  Of course when it came to my generation of exchanging ones affection mixed tapes was out of style and cds were introduced but when my brother and I were young we used to make our own mixed tapes with our own recordings.  I wonder where those tapes are now?  I would love to hear them.  As for me I got my first mixed cd in high school.  I received a few of them in my life time. When I got married I threw them all away.  "Sigh". Oh the memories. 

 
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Day 16: sleepless nights   
09:27pm 15/01/2015
 

Chelsea hasn't been sleeping very well these past 2 weeks. So that means I've been lacking sleep too.  Plus my mom had been feeling overwhelmed with taking care of v the boys during the day and night so this past week they've been sleeping at home.  So Brody has been running in and out of his room as well. 

Tonight the boys are at my mom's house and Chelsea is finally asleep.  So it's my cue to sleep now as well.  My eyes have been feeling very heavy and there are times during the day I want to take naps.  But I'm back at work so I can't do that.

Night world.  See you in the morning.

 
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Day 14: Planning   
12:48pm 14/01/2015
 
mood: accomplished
Day 14: Planning the year ahead for 2015. When it being organized at my house, I'm not so great at it... I got papers/books piled up in odd places, the kids toys are all over the floor in the basement - I try to make it an "organized mess" in their playroom and keep the toys only in that area. Sometimes the bed isn't made, there are particle of dust in some corner of the house. My hair is everywhere (my hair has been shedding A LOT since having Chelsea - all part of the after birth cycle). HOWEVER, when it comes to finance, planning trips, planning events and such I am the MOST ORGANIZED person EVER!!!! So I'm starting to go through my calendar and planning out vacation, trips, birthday events, holidays, dinner parties and etc... Now that there's 3 kids to account for, I have a feeling this year is going to be BUSY!

My big event coming up is the boys birthday party. JJ's birthday is on March 23rd and Brody's birthday is on March 29th. So we celebrate both birthdays together. Last year we had it at Chuck E Cheese and we're going to do the same this year as well. I booked on Saturday, March 21st at 530pm. So far the invitation list consist of about 30 adults and 25 kids (not including babies under 1 yr old). Of course this includes relatives from out of town and the 21st of March lands on the kids March Break week (so some people might already have plans) - so I'm sure the numbers will decrease (I HOPE).

Also in March we're going on a trip to Castaway Bay with another family. It's an indoor waterpark in Sandusky, Ohio. I've never been there before, but the family we're going with has been and they say it's very fun for the kids. I'm excited to just get away and enjoy time with the family. The boys LOVE swimming - it'll be interesting to see how Chelsea does with being in the water.
 
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Day 10: losing weight   
10:12pm 10/01/2015
 

It's a hard battle to win.  Especially having 3 babies my body has definitely taken it's toll.  Ugh.  I still have 15 lbs to lose.  That annoying belly fat won't go away.  I need some kind of miracle or just simple old liposuction should do the trick.  So far I'm just doing the following to help shed the baby weight.

1. Eating healthy.  Meaning not skipping any meals.  Small portions.  Ensuring I'm covering all food categories so I get the right amount of nutrients in me.  No fast food (which is so hard by the way). No pop.  Scale down on the sweets.  Drink just water and milk. 

2. 30 minutes of workout.  Constant movement that makes me sweat. 

3. No snacking after 7 pm.  If I get hungry I drink water or eat yogurt or chew gum.

4. Wear a corset or a tummy tucker or spanks. Something to help mould my body. People laugh at kim kardashian for promoting it but it actually does work.

5. Massage.  It keeps you stress free and relaxed. 

6. Sleep.  I get 6 to 7 hours of sleep to keep me refreshed and healthy.

7. Use stairs and don't use elevator.  Park far from building so that adds a few more minutes of exercise for the day. 

There might be more but can't think of them right now.  Hehe. 

 
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Day 7 and Day 8 - too busy with Chelsea to update: Day 9: Updating during lunch at work   
12:16pm 09/01/2015
  Having a baby is lots of work - add on a 5 year old and a 2 year old it gets even busier. Everyone wants their attention - everyone wants their "mommy" time... it's hard dividing my time up between all kids, my husband, getting work done around the house and getting work done at work!!! Plus I have to plan time with my mom, my friends and etc... UGH.

So yeah... I'm TRYING my best to update LJ as much as possible - but LIFE gets in the way and there are just other priorities - LIKE SLEEP!!!! lol.

TGIF - finally it's Friday - I survivied my first full week back at work. I didn't forget too much of the system and was able to get "most" of my work done on time. Well, what needs to be done right now anyways... future projects can be done later on.

Saturday plans are to run a few errands early in the morning - get laundry done - clean up the house and play with the kids.
Sunday plans are to go to church, take JJ to piano lessons (he's doing so GREAT by the way - he's picking up the songs very fast and enjoying his practices and gets along well with his teacher), then go grocery shopping and at night we're going out for dinner at New Kirwin Eatery with some friends.

Snow has started coming down now and it's FREEZING. UGH... it's hibernation time and I just want to stay at home and watch tv and play with the kids... I'd rather not go out... wait until the spring/summer/fall time to do any outdoors activity. I'd just be content to be with my hubby and kids and no one else. I guess winter makes the "loner" in me. At least I have a family to hang out with... hehehe.
 
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